Man who possessed pipe bomb in hospital parking garage sentenced to federal prison

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — A Jonestown man will spend 2 and a half years in federal prison after he pled guilty to having a pipe bomb that exploded in the parking garage of a hospital in Austin.

The United States Department of Justice confirms that Raymond Luke Garner, 39, now has a 30-month sentence after an unregistered destructive device detonated at St. David’s Hospital on August 29, 2023.

According to court documents, Garner parked his truck in the garage not long before there was an explosion in the back of the vehicle. Investigators  found the remains of a pipe bomb near the truck. They also found a quantity of a homemade high explosive, circuit boards and timers, electric matches, and other items.

“The law prohibits the possession of unregistered homemade pipe bombs for a good reason: they put the community at serious risk,” said U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas.

While Garner was detained by police, investigators say he contacted another person asking that they move a box out of his home. That box was later found to contain a quantity of the high explosive, precursor chemicals, and electric matches. Searches at other locations revealed a recipe for the high explosive, remote control devices, and other components for destructive devices.

“Garner’s use of unregistered and unstable explosive material jeopardized the safety of individuals who may have been near his vehicle,” said Special Agent in Charge Aaron Tapp of the FBI’s San Antonio Field Office.

Garner pleaded guilty on Oct. 2, 2023.

The ATF and FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force led the investigation with assistance from the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, and Cedar Park Police Department.

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